The island of Jamaica is situated in the Caribbean Sea between 17° 43' and 18° 32' North latitude and 76° 11' and 78° 21' west longitude, approximately 161 kilometres west of Haiti and 149 kilometres south of Cuba. The island is divided into 3 counties-Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey-and 14 parishes. The total area of the island is 4,411.21 square miles or about 2.8 million acres. From a tropical temperature of 80-86° F at the sea coast to 40-50° F on the tops of the highest mountains there is a dryness of atmosphere that renders the climate of the mountain particularly delightful and suitable to the most delicate constitution. The surface of the island is extremely mountainous and attains considerable altitude particularly in the eastern section where the central range which is known as the Blue Mountains attain an elevation of 7,402.4 feet above sea level at the Peak. From this range subordinate ridges and spurs run northerly and southerly with smaller ridges branching off in every direction with regularity. This results in a surface consisting of a series of ridges with intervening gullies. This terrain has been a source of consideration in the development of the property tax system of the island.